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The ideas that formed the Constitution: Cicero Continued

By: Rob Natelson The previous installment in this series outlined the life and career of the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero. It described how John Adams relied on Cicero’s work in the preface ...

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Federal Farmer: Representation Isn’t Sufficient

By: TJ Martinell When it was ratified, the U.S. Constitution set a cap on the number of representatives at no more than one per 30,000 persons. In his seventh letter dated Dec. ...

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Federal Farmer: Constitution creates “a strong tendency to aristocracy”

December 19, 2022 Ratification Debates 0

By: TJ Martinell In his third letter dated Oct. 10, 1787, the anti-federalist writer Federal Farmer wrote skeptically of the proposed new federal government for fear it would bring about a “tendency toward ...

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Patrick Henry’s Warning on “Implied Authority”

By: TJ Martinell Patrick Henry’s impassioned remarks during the final days of the Virginia Ratifying Convention were the culmination of week-long arguments between skeptics of the proposed Constitution and its supporters, such as ...

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The Federal Farmer: The Constitution Would Lead to a Complete Consolidation

By: TJ Martinell During the debates over ratification of the Constitution, one of the most influential and important series of papers were written by the Federal Farmer, an anti-federalist who forcefully ...

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James Wilson Delivers “State House Yard Speech” in Favor of the Constitution

By: Dave Benner On October 6, 1787, eminent Pennsylvanian James Wilson delivered his famous “State House Yard Speech” in support of the Constitution in Philadelphia. On the dawn of the first ...

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The Destructive Legacy of the Federal Taxing Power

By: Bob Fiedler How many people stop to consider if there are any restrictions on what or how the federal government can tax? Does the Constitution for the United States allow ...

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Patrick Henry Warns of a “Great and Mighty Empire”

By: TJ Martinell On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry gave a speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention warning that “consolidation” – centralizing of power – would turn the United States into a dangerous ...

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Patrick Henry’s Lesson on the Need for a Bill of Rights

By: TJ Martinell On June 12, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke during the Virginia Ratifying Convention, reiterating the need for a Bill of Rights in the proposed U.S. Constitution before its adoption. ...

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Today in History: New York Ratifies the Constitution

By: Mike Maharrey On this date in 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the Constitution. The Constitution narrowly won approval by a 30-27 vote on July 26, 1788, ...

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